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With tens of thousands of new products hitting the market each year, the pace of product advancement is staggering. While the innovations aim to make our lives easier and better, sometimes they can be dangerous as well. From product failures and defects to ineffective warnings and information, the products we use every day can sometimes cause injuries or even death.

As a skilled personal injury attorney knows, the results of an injury caused by a defective or dangerous product can be life-altering, ranging from expensive medical bills and lost wages to property damage and pain and suffering. To help alleviate the physical and emotional costs of your injuries, it may be important to hire an experienced Charlotte product liability lawyer who could help you pursue damages for your losses.

Types of Product Liability Claims in Charlotte

Different states approach product liability law differently. In Charlotte, North Carolina, there is no strict liability, which means liability is imposed without having to prove fault. Instead, the claimant in a product liability case must prove negligence, as outlined in Chapter 99B of the North Carolina General Statutes.

Chapter 99B provides for actions brought against the manufacturer or seller because of the manufacture, construction, design, formulation, development of standards, preparation, processing, assembly, testing, listing, certifying, warning, instructing, marketing, selling, advertising, packaging, or labeling of any product.

Reasons for Filing Product Negligence Claims?

The most common types of claims in product liability cases in North Carolina are:

  • Claims based on inadequate warnings or instructions, which created the dangerous condition and which the manufacturer or seller should have known about when the product was designed or after it went to market
  • Claims based on inadequate design for formulation, meaning the manufacturers was unreasonable in designing or formulating the product, which in turn caused harm to the plaintiff

In Charlotte, claims for breach of warranty are governed by another section of the North Carolina General Statutes.

Who Can Bring an Action?

The buyer of a defective or dangerous product is not the only one who can file a product liability lawsuit against that product’s manufacturer or seller. The buyer’s family members, guests, and employees can also bring an action. As a Charlotte product liability lawyer knows, if the injury resulted in death, the estate of the deceased person can assert a claim, while for intellectually disabled individuals or minors, a guardian can file suit on their behalf.

Potential Defenses Against Product Liability Actions

Manufacturers and sellers often fight diligently to prove they are not liable for any injuries associated with their product. Common defenses defendants may invoke in product liability cases include:

  • The seller did not have a chance to inspect the product, either because it was sealed or because there was no opportunity
  • A party other than the manufacturer or seller modified the product in a way not specified in the instructions or without the consent of the manufacturer or seller
  • The user ignored the adequate instructions or warnings with the product, discovered a defect that they should have known would cause danger, or did not use the product with reasonable care
  • The manufacturer or seller did not warn about an obvious risk that the user should have known about

The product liability laws in Charlotte, North Carolina are complex, and navigating them on your own can be quite challenging. The assistance of a Charlotte product liability lawyer with experience in product liability could help preserve your rights, present your case in the optimal light, and defend against the manufacturer or seller’s counterclaims.